Friday, February 29


As our new Walney Road one way system moves ever nearer to its disastrous completion drivers are biting their fingernails in dread of the coming chaos. But when this monumental waste of time and £2.5m in cash is finally completed what can we look forward to next on Barrow's roads. Surely the planners and well padded committee members from the grim and distant far north of the county must have some other fiendish road delay schemes in the pipeline. But of course we won't have to worry about that because just as in the past we won't be consulted or asked about how our taxes are spent on our behalf. Perhaps it's all part of some devilish plan to divert us into driving round in circles whilst they get on with taking all the government funding and the best jobs for the top part of the county. But I would say that instead of dreaming up ever more silly road “improvement" schemes that a look should be taken at some of our older one way systems. For instance we have a one way system on Barrow Island which was designed many, many years ago to prevent the streets being used as rat runs by the hordes of workers leaving the nearby shipyard gates. But the lords and masters up in Carlisle won't be aware that this, as any local will tell you is now just a dim and distant memory. Most of the nearby shipyard gates are long sealed and pedestrian only, and the dwindled workforce is now based away from the island at the Devonshire Dock Hall. So how much longer should we have to suffer driving round in silly little circles causing needless pollution and wasting expensive fuel. Let’s have a comprehensive review of our older traffic systems before we adopt any more madcap schemes, after all times and traffic have changed eh!

Tuesday, February 26

Death Road

We tend to moan about the state of our local roads, no matter where we live in the world, but if we had to travel this highway of hell every day we would have something to moan about eh! Commonly referred to as “Death Road”, the only route western route into La Paz, Bolivia, this road gets its name from its extreme nature. Narrowing to only five or six feet in certain areas with a total elevation drop of 3000m in only 80km, Death Road has certainly earned its reputation. Fatalities can exceed over 100 annually. The road is frighteningly tight, slippery and extremely bumpy thanks to a scattering of rocks on its surface. Despite all of the danger, the scenery is breathtaking. The beautiful waterfalls easily draw the driver’s attention away from the 400m drops over the edge. Surprisingly, the majority of the traffic fatalities are a result of head-on collisions rather than falls. At the height of its infamy, Death Road averaged 400 deaths per year. Mmm not for me thanks, I wouldn't use it, not even at double the usual fare.

Monday, February 25

Foul Air

On the opening day of Tesco’s brand new Roose Metro store I happened to get a job picking up from there. They had a band playing and they were dishing out free champagne to the first shoppers. As I pulled up outside I expected to see lot’s of happy smiling faces. But no the gathered dignitaries and shoppers looked as if they were gagging and some held their noses and were a sickly shade of green. Was the champagne off, or were the nibbles stale? The answer hit me when I rolled down the window to call out my fares name. It seems that the local Salthouse Pool sewerage works had picked that day of all days to release a stomach churning stench to foul the proceedings. I bet the phone lines to United Utilities were red hot that morning.

Sunday, February 24

I Don't Do Domestics

Sunday afternoon and I pull up to pick-up outside a local pub, just like I have done many hundreds of times before. All seems well as the couple walk up and he gets in the front and she slides into the back seat. I ask where too as usual and then think the guy is joking when he says calmly “I don’t want her in the taxi with me throw her out please.” Still thinking he is joking I smile and ask “where too” again and the lady shouts loudly “yeah where too, you two timing rat.” When I look in the rear view I see that the lady has been bawling and that her eye make-up had ran making her look like Amy Winehouse on a bad day. It’s then that the horrible truth dawns on me; I have been hijacked into a full blown domestic. It seems that she had followed him to the pub and was trying to catch him out misbehaving. Both seemed to have had more than a drop to drink and soon all hell was let loose as they started to argue. Both tried to get me involved, but as any taxi driver will tell you the unwritten rule is that you never ever get involved in domestics. After much shouting they both got out the cab, and then promptly got back in again, and then out and then in. After the fifth time I held my hand out to the guy and he handed me some cash. With that I was off leaving them both stood on the pavement arguing furiously away. All of this was very much to the amusement of the watching nicotine addicts chuffing away on the pub car park. I just don’t do domestics, but still I wish more passengers would pay me for doing nothing.

Saturday, February 23

Jack Frost Pop

I took a stroll down Barrow's Dalton road this week, and I have to admit to being the usual downtrodden Barrovian male standing outside the shops whilst the missus goes inside for seemingly days at a time. After getting fed - up of dodging dive bombing pigeons and ould lasses trying to lame me with wheeled shopping trolleys (why do they always have a tartan pattern eh?) I was tempted by the bargain basement style of shop which has recently opened, and entered for a browse. A huge display of brightly coloured bottles caught my eye and I homed in for a closer look presuming that it was a soft drink of some kind. But no it turned out to be 2.5 litres that’s 5.283 pints of strong white cider for less than £2.50p. Unbelievable that’s less than 50p a pint, that works out cheaper than some leading brand soft drinks. And at 7.5 percent alcohol, getting steaming drunk for less than £2. 50p would be child’s play. But looking at the packaging and advertising logos it’s hard not to get the impression that that’s the market the stuff is aimed at.

When I got home I went online and did a search for the brand name and was shocked to see what appears to be spoof profiles’ advertising the stuff on the social networking site Bebo. This site is mainly used by school kids, and going by the language and style of the pages this is just the target audience they are aiming for. This just seems to be a cheap cynical way of getting round the ban on advertising alcohol to kids. Let’s hope a stop is soon put to this blatant glamorising of cheap booze to children. Check out the pages here and here see what you think.

Friday, February 22

School Punch Up

The talking point locally for the last few months or so has been Cumbria County Council plans to shut Thorncliffe, Alfred Barrow and Parkview schools and replace them with a single 1,200-pupil academy. Even when the plans were first made public most local folk I talked to about it were dead set against the idea. But just as predicted by a lot of my passengers, and despite strong public opposition, the authority’s cabinet unanimously backed the plans and agreed it should proceed with a process to shut the secondary schools in August 2009. The council says it wants to transform the secondary system to improve standards and buildings. But most local folk remain unimpressed and the feeling is as one of my passengers put it “it’s just like a factory really, and the bigger the factory the cheaper the processing cost per; unit produced.” Unfortunately in this case the units in question happen to be our local schoolchildren. Others fares point out the traffic chaos near the proposed site at school starting and leaving times already, and predict total gridlock and an increase in traffic accidents. Some parents tell me that they will struggle to find the cash to fund the expensive new school uniform that will no doubt be required, especially those with several kids. But the last word goes to some of the older kids I take to and from the affected schools. They tell me that all the schools involved have always had a fierce rivalry towards each other, and as one put it “we all fight out of school, so when they mix us all together in one school it will be one big constant punch up.”

Thursday, February 21

Stella Versus Facecream

Husband and wife are shopping in Tesco's when the man picks up a crate of Stella and sticks it into the trolley

"What do you think you're doing?" asks the wife

"They're on offer, only £10 for 12 bottles", he says

"Put them back. We can't afford it," says the wife and they carry on shopping...

A few aisles later the woman picks up a £20 jar of face cream and sticks it into the trolley.

"What do you think you're doing?" asks the man,

"It's my face cream. It makes me look beautiful," she says


Ferry Hotel Roadblock

The residents of Walney island, known locally as Walneyites are up in arms. Local watering hole and well known landmark the Ferry Hotel has undergone a recent major facelift,and very nice it looks too. But during the refit bollards have been installed to reduce the car park entrances from two down to one. So instead of driving in one way and out the other drivers now have to manoeuvre to turn round on the car park and it's sometimes very busy beer garden. Locals say that they have actually blocked what they consider to be part of a road which has been in use for many decades. Members of the boat club which is at the rear of the ferry tell me that this will make getting their larger boats in and out of the club a lot more difficult. Who knows who is in the right, but I do know that it makes life a bit harder when dropping and picking up at the now very popular pub and restaurant.

Tuesday, February 19


It was proven beyond doubt that we Barrovians are all a bunch of softies this afternoon. There laying smack in the middle of Greengate Street, which is one of Barrow’s busiest main roads was a beautiful big bouquet of yellow roses. How they got there is a mystery, maybe someone accidentally left them on the roof of their car whilst unlocking it. As I passed I swerved slightly to avoid driving over them, maybe the owner would realise and come back for them. But surely they wouldn’t last too long in this heavy traffic, what a shame I thought. But at least two hours later, having forgotten all about them I drove up towards Greengate Hill again. Stopped at the traffic lights at the bottom of the hill I was perplexed to see all the cars coming down the hill do a little swerve at the top of the hill. Surely not, after what must have been hundreds of Buses, trucks and cars passing by, I thought the flowers will be well and truly crushed into the tarmac by now. But no, when I reached the top of the hill there they lay totally unscathed.

Monday, February 18


The price of private number plates climbed to crazy new heights today when a wealthy Arab bought the registration “1” - for a record £7milion.

“I bought it because it’s the best number,” said Saeed Khouri, a member of a prominent Abu Dhabi family that made its fortune in property.

“I bought it because I want to be the best in the world.”

Khouri refused to reveal how many cars he owned and which one of them will carry the record-breaking single digit plate.

The reg is one of a series of unique number plates which the United Arab Emirates state auctioneers in this oil-rich Gulf country began auctioning off since last May.

But unlike ordinary car plates issued to drivers here and most other vanity series plates which carry both Arabic and Western numerals and script, defining the issuing city and country, Khouri’s plate had only the Western numeral and no letters.

The record sale surpassed that of its predecessor, an Emirate license plate that had just “5” on it - also no Arabic numerals or letters, after Talal Khouri, who is no relation to Saeed, plopped down £3.4million for it at an earlier auction, the plate adorned his prized Rolls-Royce

The reg is one of a series of unique number plates which the United Arab Emirates began auctioning off since last May.

Paper Trail

What a total mess I found around the area of Barrow's Hollywood park over the weekend. All the roads and verges leading from the retail and entertainment park for about a half mile radius or so were heavily littered with brightly coloured cartons and paper and plastic wrappers. All of them can be easily traced back to the nearby takeaway and drive- thru fast food outlets. I would guess that it's not just a local thing but happens countrywide anywhere near this type of retail and Entertainment Park. We all know that folk should clean up after themselves and not drop litter but it's a fact of life that once out of view from the CCTV cameras a lot of the rubbish is thrown straight out of the car window. The actual car park is kept clean by hard-working staff who must sometimes feel that they are trying to sweep back the incoming tide. But the surrounding area is in a total mess and brings disgrace to the whole town. Surely these multinational, global trading fast food businesses should be made to pay to have the whole area cleaned up; after all it is their rubbish.

Sunday, February 17

Look Alike

Early on Sunday morning and three separate fares that I picked up asked me the same question. "Was it you that picked me up last night?" Nothing that I told them about not working the previous night could convince them that it wasn't me that picked them up. Two of them actually tried to carry on the conversation that they thought that they had with me the night before. Have I got a double who works the nights driving a similar taxi maybe? Well no, I know for a fact that none of the night drivers are anywhere near as good looking as me, that's why they only work in the dark eh! But I have come across this before, and have come to the conclusion that if we had a look-alike competition for taxi drivers with drunks for judges, we would all win first prize. Yes the truth of the matter is that whatever the shape, size colouring, whether they be bald or hairy all taxi drivers look alike to drunks. The thing is though it only seems to work the next morning when they are still under the influence of the drink. Which when you think about it can sometimes be a good thing, some folk we pick-up will be in a sorry drunken state and tell us all sorts of embarrassing secrets. But when we pick them up a day or two later even though we recognise them, they just don't have a clue who it was that took their guilty confession.

Friday, February 15

Hot Air

Myself I don't see this idea as being viable, the whole concept is riddled with problems. Lack of range being the biggest obstacle followed by weight/power ratios not quite adding up. But who knows, with a few more years of development it may just work. But lets just hope they make a model that isn't quite as ugly.

English Tests

TAXI drivers in Manchester face a test to prove they can chat with passengers in English and do basic sums.
The council is set to introduce the `basic skills assessment' for all new applicants for private hire and hackney - black cab - taxi licences. Candidates will have to prove they can respond appropriately to commonly-used expressions like `Can you drop me after the lights?' and `Can I have a receipt?'
They will also have to speak clearly on topics including recent journeys they have taken and their favourite places in England.
The council has indicated the oral exams will be in the form of a `relaxed conversation' with follow-up questions to prevent learning `parrot-fashion'. Candidates would be given multiple-choice maths questions, such as how much change should be given from a £20 note if the fare cost £9.30.
Those who fail the test will not be allowed to take the standard `knowledge' test, which assesses their ability to use an A-Z as well as their understanding of routes. The move, set to be approved as a 12-month pilot, will be paid for by adding £10 to the fee for applying for a new licence.
Groups representing drivers of black cabs welcomed the scheme, admitting members of the public had expressed concern about the standard of English of some drivers.
George Simms, of the Taxi Owners and Drivers Association, said: "People need to know drivers can be understood and make themselves clear. Probably the majority of taxi drivers now are from communities that do not have English as a first language."
Any candidate who failed would be helped in improving language or number skills. Existing drivers of black cabs and private-hire drivers will not be forced to take the exams. It currently costs £155 to apply for a black cab licence and £207 for a minicab plate.
A council spokesman said: "Taxi drivers are ambassadors for Manchester. The vast majority do an excellent job but we are considering the introduction of a basic skills assessment for new applicants as part of our focus on improving the experience of taxi customers."

Wednesday, February 13

Sad Faces

I see that Barrow shipyard boss Murray Easton tells us that Barrow needs to spruce up its image. He tells us “I love the area but Barrow does not have a good reputation in the rest of the country” and that “We need to look at our image and think how do we sell Barrow factually and forcibly to try and counter the image perceived by people in southern England.” Well I can’t argue with that, most of the Southern softies that I pick up are really surprised by how nice the area and its folk really are. But maybe he should take a look a closer look at the morale within the shipyard workforce itself. I pick these folk up every day and not one single one of them has any sort of enthusiasm for their workplace. Miserable faces and likening work to a prison sentence are the norm amongst the workforce, particularly those who work within the DDH. Why is this? Is it management style; is it work conditions, is it the industry itself, just what is the problem? Maybe if he had a happy workforce who went to work in the morning with the right attitude and with a smile on their faces, outsiders just may get a better impression of Barrow itself. Maybe they should have Japanese style morning exercises followed by chants of “yeah let’s go build a submarine” Eh!

Monday, February 11

Hire Brigade

Driving onto the Walney Road shopping estate which serves Barrows Asda supermarket amongst others, I was not too surprised to see a fire engine parked there. What after two major fires in the last year or so, the first of which destroyed both MFI and Allied Carpets, and the second badly damaging the large Matalan store, the place seems to be jinxed. Getting closer I was shocked to see that according to the sign writing on the fire engine the fire brigade now offered itself for hire at children's parties, stag and hen nights, weddings and special occasions. Well I know that finances are a bit low but isn't that going a bit far? But getting closer still I saw that the sign actually said "Hire Brigade" and not fire brigade as I had first thought; clever eh! It seems that this “Hire Engine” is the latest in the novelty hire trade which has sprung up round here. So if you have the cash and you don’t think that a bright pink stretch limo isn’t eye catching enough for you, this could be the answer, either that or there is an armoured troop carrier that is also available for hire locally. But like the real fire brigade the hire brigade will have to be brave men. A herd of screaming kids going to a party are bad enough but hen parties whoa no thanks. I can see the novelty of drunken women shouting “show us your hose” for the thousandth time and chubby bridesmaids asking for a fireman’s lift, wearing thin very quickly eh!


The guys who wheel clamp untaxed vehicles on behalf of the DVLA were out in force round Barrow this week, the town was littered with cars immobilized by the big yellow steel triangles. Mind you the guys were grinning like Cheshire cats as they attached the clamp onto the expensive wheel of a shiny Porsche Boxter. Maybe it’s envy but somehow something about a fancy expensive motor being held hostage for non payment of road tax makes most folk smirk and snigger. That’s what I found as I watched other motorists drive past in their lesser cars staring, pointing and grinning at the posh cars predicament.

Sunday, February 10

Seeing the Light

Well it seems that our Government has had bend to the will of the European Union again, with the result that all new cars are to be fitted with automatic daytime headlights within four years. The Government previously opposed the idea on the grounds that using lights in the daytime would increase fuel consumption and emissions, but conceded it was unable to oppose European legislation. Trying to soften the blow of having to kowtow to Europe, Jim Fitzpatrick, the road safety minister, tells us: “The UK has been successful in arguing against the introduction of mandatory use of dipped headlamps during daylight hours by drivers of existing vehicles. Nobody but a politician can call a defeat a success eh? “However, from early 2011 all new types of passenger cars and light vans will have to be fitted with dedicated daytime running lamps in accordance with the relevant European directive. By summer 2012, all new vehicles will have to be so fitted.” The move will anger motoring groups, which claim fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions increase by three per cent when drivers use dipped lights. But the European Commission says that the lights increase fuel consumption by only 0.3 per cent because they use separate bulbs that are less bright than headlights. The commission wants all European Union states to set a common date to make daytime running lights mandatory. About half of EU member states already require this already.

Saturday, February 9

Gothic Revival

Saturday and it seemed like the first day of an early spring. And as usual when we get an unexpected bit of sunshine, folk were out and about in their droves. But after driving past the windy cavern in front of Barrow town hall, which is laughingly called our town square I couldn’t help but feel that something was missing. After several more trips past the bustling square which is overlooked by the Gothic splendour of the offices of our lords and masters, it slowly dawned on me. There seemed to be a distinct lack of black clothing and an unusual surplus of smiles and skateboards amongst the young uns that hang out around there most Saturdays. That was it; I couldn’t see any sign of the usual Gaggle of Goths. Not too long ago the town square looked like a crowd outside the crypt for a solemn Victorian funeral. What’s happened? It’s a grave situation. Has the Goth scene passed on, have all the young Goths metamorphosed into skater dudes? Or are they just too depressed to show their impossibly white faces. Have they gone for good or is this just a blip on the local fashion scene and they are trying to organize a Gothic revival.

Friday, February 8

The Busker

Heres a treat for you, take a look round the beautiful old city of Chester and listen to the electric violin played by Ed Alleyne-Johnson, who busk's the streets there most Saturday mornings.

Thursday, February 7

Taxi Tales?

A channel 4 short documentary made by cazalineuk about a Liverpool cab driver. Strangely enough it's called Taxi Tales, what a good title eh!

Wednesday, February 6


BarrowCabs is a new site for Barrow taxi drivers run by a Barrow taxi driver. This site is independent of any taxi firm or office and is solely for the benefit of local taxi drivers, whether they be hackney or private hire. As well as a forum to discuss local issues it includes links to weather forecasts, roadwork’s, proposed and ongoing, Barrow council licensing conditions and links to loads of other useful stuff. Let's hope that this site is taken up and used by the local taxi community.

Tuesday, February 5

Pancake Day

Have we all forgotten about pancake Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday as it is sometimes known? This year it has fallen very early because of the early Easter, but even so this is the first year that none of my fares seemed to know about it. None of the shoppers I picked up from the local supermarkets had bought pancake mix or the traditional lemon juice to squeeze over them.

Now I learn that health and safety rules are beginning to put an end to the traditional sport of pancake racing.
A Cathedral pancake race that is part of a 600-year-old tradition has been stopped because of health and safety rules. The bell at Ripon Cathedral, which has rung at 11am to mark Shrove Tuesday since the 15th century, has signalled the start of the city’s pancake race for many years.
However, the event, in which children, traders, soldiers and even clergy compete, has been abandoned because of the amount of work needed to carry out risk assessments.

In past years, the event, part of a long tradition of pancake races in Ripon, was likened to a village sports day, a last chance to have fun before the solemn season of Lent.

The race has been growing in popularity and even involved members of 38 Regt Royal Engineers, based in Ripon, who cook pancakes from a field kitchen outside the west front of the cathedral.

“We had hoped to make the pancake race as much of a tradition as the pancake bell and it’s a travesty that it has been killed off."

It’s sad isn’t it, and now surveys tell us that two thirds of people in the country no longer mark the Christian tradition of making pancakes.

Pancakes have featured in cookbooks since 1439. The custom of flipping or tossing them is believed to have started in the 17th century. They are made from rich ingredients that include eggs and milk, which were used up in households before the 40 days of Lent during which only plain food should be eaten. I don’t know, folk will be telling me that they don’t even know that it’s Ash Wednesday on the day after Shrove Tuesday next eh!

Monday, February 4

Milk Run

Some taxi drivers say that they have had cows in the back of the cab, but I don't think they can beat this one eh!

Law or Religion?

For reasons which will become obvious I have had to be very careful how I worded this. No insult or slur is intended to any one race or religion. But this is a true story of an awkward predicament I was placed in. The fare was from the Furness General Hospitals staff quarters and was made up of two young ladies and a boy of seven or eight year’s age and a toddler of two or three. Because neither of the children was old or tall enough to legally ride in the front seat I naturally expected one of the lady’s to ride up front. This happened as expected, and we were just about to set off when a chap rushed over and tapped on the passenger window. The lady rolled down the window and a few stern words were exchanged in a language I couldn’t understand. The lady then got out of the taxi and exchanged seats with the young lad. I turned round to explain that he couldn’t sit up front but was met with blank faces. The young lad then tugged my sleeve and explained that he was the only one who spoke English. He pleaded for me to let him stay up front and explained what was going on. It seems that the man had reminded the lady that for religious reasons she could not sit up front with a male who was not related. The young lad was obviously embarrassed and like myself was in an awkward situation. Now then what do I do? Do I insult their obviously deeply held religious beliefs? Or do I risk breaking the UK traffic laws? What would you do? As I weighed the situation up I could see that the young lad was looking very worried and on the verge of tears. That clinched it” fasten your seatbelt “I said, after all don’t they say that laws are there to be broken eh! You know I found myself almost wishing that we would be stopped by the police. In these days of political correctness, and having to be in tune with religious sensibilities, just which way would it have gone I wonder?

Sunday, February 3

Naughty Boys Club

It was obvious that my fare that I had picked up nice and early on this cold and dismal Sunday morning wasn’t that keen on having to venture out. He looked like he had been on the ale the previous night, and was suffering from a huge hangover. When I asked him where he was going he was definitely a bit shady about telling me. “Err in town somewhere by Cornwallis St and Hindpool Rd” he muttered. “You mean the naughty boys club then” I replied. Taken aback at being rumbled he looked at me in confusion, after a minute of thought he relaxed, nodded and smiled. The “naughty boys club” for those of you that don’t know is what the nickname is for the unpaid work or community service which offenders agree to do as part of their probation. This can consist of cleaning off graffiti, painting, gardening or environmental projects. None of these people are big time career criminals, it’s mainly drink related assaults and relatively minor offences. Naughty boys who work during the week have to fit the unpaid work in during their weekends. We get lots of naughty boys and even some naughty girls getting a taxi to the club, who ask to be dropped round the corner from the probation office, but since it’s the only place open round there on a Sunday morning we all know where they are going. Most folk won’t know it but the National Probation Service is interested in hearing from you with suggestions of what they could be doing to clean up your area. Sounds good to me, clean up your area and keep the naughty boys and girls nice and busy.

Hot Head

Mmm remind me not to ever decide to drive a taxi down in Wales, ever!

Down in the land of nervous sheep it seems that three people have been arrested in connection with an attack on a taxi driver who was actually set on fire.

Douglas Hall suffered mild burns to his head and face after being set alight by two men who were trying to steal his takings.

It happened after he went to collect a fare in Milford Haven on Friday night.

It is thought a liquid or gas was squirted into his face and set on fire.

Police in the town said Mr Hall had received a call requesting taxi to collect a fare from Cellar Hill off Pill Road on the outskirts of the town.

Mr Hall said when he arrived at the location he was approached by a man who demanded his money.

He was squirted over the head and face with some sort of accelerant which he was able to put out with his hands

“It is a location that is quite secluded and there were two males in the lane with hoodies.

“One approached the victim and asked him to hand over his money.”

Mr Hall refused and got out of the car pushing the man backwards.

It was then Mr Hall noticed another man standing on the other side of the road wearing a grey hooded top.

“He was then squirted over the head and face with some sort of accelerant which he was able to put out with his hands,” explained the police officer.

“He was very lucky. He has been injured but no where near as horrifically as it could have been.

It is believed the incident which happened, not late at night as you would think, but at 9: pm, had been premeditated.

“It was clearly thought about but thankfully incidents of this kind are few and far between,” said Ch Insp Richards.

Let’s hope it stays that way as well eh!

Saturday, February 2

Speed Gun

Well going by the latest design for a speed camera pictured above it looks as if they are thinking of getting tough with offenders eh!

Friday, February 1


A Greek taxi driver is donating his record-breaking Mercedes car to the company’s museum in Germany. Gregorios Sachinides’ Mercedes 240D has clocked up a record-breaking 2.8m since he bought it in 1981. The mileage is the equivalent of six trips to the moon and back, or 82 times around the earth. Sachinides said he clocked up the miles driving around the streets of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city. He said he also made hundreds of journeys to Belgrade to transport medical supplies during the Balkans war. He added he was so pleased with his car he wrote to company boss Juergen Hubbert to thank him personally for the outstanding service. Mercedes say they believe the mileage is the most ever put on one of their cars. Well he can’t say that he didn’t get value for his money then eh!

Trunk Monkey

I want a taxi with a trunk monkey please!

Art Event

In this cool video clip, an art event group brings 207 apparently normal people into Grand Central Station, whereupon they all freeze, at exactly the same instant, for five minutes, standing stock still, as though they were caught in some kind of time-loop. Around them, the Grand Central crowd looks on in wonderment, trying to figure out what's going on -- a little scared, but delighted too. When the frozen hundreds all begin to move again at the same instant, the crowd gives them a standing ovation.